How to Care for a Water Turtle

There are several aspects that we must take into account when knowing how to care for a water turtle. Despite being an easy-to-care animal, it requires special attention like the rest of the species.

How to take care of the health of a water turtle?

  • Clean water with an adequate temperature
  • Daily sunlight
  • Complete and balanced diet
  • Shell Care

How should the terrarium be for a water turtle?

  1. Large terrarium with water and earth

The turtle should be as large as possible so that they have enough space to move around and can feel comfortable. You must be tall and have enough depth so that you can swim as much as you want, since most of the day will be spent underwater. In addition, it is essential to incorporate a second dry area where they can lie down, rest and sunbathe. It can be an island, a log or a stone, always with some type of ramp that allows them to easily access from the water.

  1. Natural or artificial lighting

Lighting is key to knowing how to care for a water turtle correctly. Water turtles need to receive light every day, for 2 or 3 hours, so that their shell is strong and healthy. It is best that it be natural: if you have the possibility of placing the terrarium in an area of ​​the house where you receive natural sunlight, it would be ideal. As it is often not possible, there are ultraviolet and heat lamps that cover this need, essential to prevent diseases and bone malformations. In Tiendanimal you can find a great catalog .

  1. Temperature between 25 and 28º

Water temperature is also an essential part of the care of a water turtle. Although they are very resistant animals and adapt to virtually any environment, it is recommended that the terrarium be between 25 and 28º to create an appropriate climate. In addition, you should also control the temperature outside the water so that when it comes out of the water there is no sudden change; It must not go below 25º.

  1. Clean water without waste

When we think about how to take care of a water turtle, water maintenance inevitably comes to mind. To avoid getting very dirty and maintain a hygienic environment, you can install a filter that deals with purifying debris and impurities. This way you won’t need to make so many water changes. If you do not use a filter in the aquarium, you will only have to change the water more frequently. There are products that remove chlorine from water if necessary, as this can damage the eyes of our turtle.

What do water turtles eat?

what do water turtles eat

Most water turtles are omnivorous, they eat everything. However, it is not advisable to give food for humans or processed foods. You must offer a complete, balanced and as varied as possible diet, trying to adapt it to your natural diet. In this way they can obtain all the necessary nutrients and vitamins for proper growth and for good health.

Do not forget that food should be administered in water and not on land, but will not eat; This is because turtles do not produce saliva. So you know well how to care for a water turtle, we tell you what foods should be part of your diet:

  1. Special feed for aquatic turtles

In the form of sticks or granules made with fish, molluscs, crustaceans and cereals. This should be the basis of your diet, as it provides all the nutrients you need in a balanced way. Choose a high quality turtle food , your diet should NOT be based on the well-known prawn boat; This is just a complement, a treat that does not provide all the nutrients they need.

  1. Vegetables

Carrots, lettuce, beet, cucumber, cabbage, kale, dandelion and aquatic plants such as those used to eat in the wild. Serve chopped vegetables to the size of your mouth.

  1. Fruits

Banana, apple, pear, watermelon, melon, berries … Never citrus like orange.

  1. Live food

Fresh foods such as worms, insects, worms, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, snails and small fish.

  1. Homemade food

Prawns, squid, mussels, small pieces of meat or fish.

  1. Supplements

The blocks calcium are essential for proper bone development, especially in young turtles.

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How to take care of a water turtle’s diet?


It is complicated to establish an exact dose of food. You will have to see the right amount for your turtle because it depends on the species, size and specific needs.

In general, you should provide the amount of food you can eat in 5 minutes.


Small turtles should eat daily in one or two shots to ensure their growth. Large turtles will eat 3-4 days a week, on alternate days.

An example of a balanced diet to care for an adult water turtle would be 2 days a week I think and another 2 fresh food such as vegetables, fruits, meat, fish or live food. Remember to vary the menu as much as possible to make it more complete and balanced.

Don’t forget to remove the leftover food with a net to keep the water safe.

We hope that with these simple but important tips we have resolved your doubts about how to care for a water turtle properly. But if you still have any other questions, don’t hesitate to write to us!

Miriam Zazo
Veterinary Tiendanimal


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